Assistive cane for visually impaired persons for uneven surface detection with orientation restraint sensing

Abstract

Purpose The reduced ability of eyes to see clearly even with the use of glasses is known as the state of visual impairment. Among the many challenges faced, outdoor travel is one of them requiring to travel through surfaces, which has potholes and bumps. Design/methodology/approach The depth of the pothole and height of the bump is also conveyed to the user through different vibration pattern of various intensity. With available electronic travel aids, the visually impaired persons are still more inclined to rely on their white cane than carrying additional equipment for obstacle avoidance. In the system, all the components can be attached to the white cane, requiring no additional device to carry. Findings Upon experimentation with different obstacle types, the system obtained a 24.88% higher score in comparison to normal walking cane. A comparison with the state of the art available systems is also provided. Originality/value Moreover, the accuracy of the assistive cane can be heavily degraded if the cane is not properly held by the user. To restrict the user to hold the cane in only required orientation an alignment sensing switch is also proposed, which is missing in the current available literature.

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